By James Vaccaro Director of strategy for Triodos Bank
There are about 25,000 banks worldwide: how responsible are they right now? And how does their concept of responsibility compare to the people who are impacted by their financial decisions? Whilst a few are advancing quickly in their sustainable impact, others are only at the cusp of understanding and integrating environmental sustainability or social purpose.
However, a recent IPCC report gives the world a mere 12 years in which to have any chance of limiting climate change to 1.5oC , and there are still significant gaps in meeting the challenges set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. So, the pace of change in the decade ahead really matters and banks need to start playing a key role in the transition towards a more sustainable world.
The momentum for making this change in the banking sector is widespread. Customers and stakeholders expect banks to help make this worldwide shift. They are demanding genuinely sustainable financial institutions that are a part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Today, in 2018, it’s been particularly relevant to discuss the contribution of the financial sector to a sustainable economy. Ten years since the global financial crisis and the shockwaves are still being felt around the world. The focus on banking for the last decade has been around regulation and stabilising capital. Now it is time to focus on how the global banking industry can proactively contribute to the real economy and meeting real needs like the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy.
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Courtesy of Triodos Bank.